by D. J. Love, Minister, TSN, SBC
Very often, in our exuberance to isolate ourselves from paganism, Sabbath Keepers will completely ignore their birthday and the birthdays of friends or family. Many will point out the various places in the Apostolic Writings where pagans or their leaders made use of their birthday or the birthday of a favored person to bring harm to (a) Sabbath Keeper(s). Please listen with your heart to what I have to say. Birthdays are not evil. Everybody has one, and (historically) there are only a few instances in the Bible where key pagan leaders used a birthday as an excuse to bring about evil. It is not birthdays that are evil, but the evildoer; ANY EXCUSE will suffice to motivate an evil person to do evil. Birthdays are no different that a natural (relatively shapeless) rock; and it is not until someone reshapes (carves) the rock into an idol that evil enters the picture. There is no Scripture, Commandment or Ordinance from the word of Yahweh against birthdays. Yes, Yahweh did say, "Do not to learn the way of the heathen," BUT birthdays were recognized by Adam & Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc., and yes, even the Messiah was aware of his age. They didn't learn birthdays from the heathen. Additionally, birthdays were never proclaimed to be a pagan rite or a religious observance. Evil only enters the picture when evil people enter the picture, and reshape them into idolatry. It is evil that turns Holy Days into holidays, and birthdays into godless celebrations.
Are there any instances where Yahweh's people acknowledged birthdays in Scripture or the Apostolic Writings? Yes, but we have to read between the lines to realize that the acknowledgement of birthdays is acceptable. We are only speaking of the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of BIRTHDAYS.
Birthdays Acknowledged in Scripture
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that Yahweh created man, He made him in Yahweh's likeness.
2 He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
3 Adam lived one hundred thirty years, and became the father of a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
4 The days of Adam after he became the father of Seth were eight hundred years, and he became the father of sons and daughters.
5 All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred thirty years, then he died.
Now I ask you, how could it have been possible for "The Generations of Adam" to have been recorded in Scripture if Birthdays were not acknowledged? Answer: Neither the "Generations of Adam" nor the generations of any of Yahweh's Chosen people or their animal sacrifices would have been possible if they had not kept track of Birthdays.
4 So Abram went, as Yahweh had spoken to him. Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Did Abram have 75 BIRTHDAYS? Yes, and more!
Did Scripture record that animals had birthdays? Absolutely, and their birthdays were acknowledged and recorded.
9 He said to him, "Take me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon."
Are there any other incidences of recorded Birthdays? Of course, many more! As a matter of fact, everyone kept track of their birthdays, and the birthdays of their family and their animals.
11 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
12 "When you take a census of the children of Israel, according to those who are numbered among them, then each man shall give a ransom for his soul to Yahweh, when you number them; that there be no plague among them when you number them.
13 They shall give this, everyone who passes over to those who are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary; (the shekel is twenty gerahs;) half a shekel for an offering to Yahweh.
14 Everyone who passes over to those who are numbered, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the offering to Yahweh.
15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of Yahweh, to make atonement for your souls.
1 Timothy 5:9
9 Let none be enrolled as a widow under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man,
Now I say to you all, 'Let us use Spiritual Sense here.' Birthdays are like any other physical act within a persons life. Anything that takes the place of or has more importance in ones life than obedience to Yahweh is a sin. Therefore BIRTHDAYS are not a sin unless we put more emphasis on them than on obedience to Yahweh. Additionally, sending someone a Birthday Card is not a selfish (sinful) act, unless there is an underlying evil intent or selfish motive.
Birthdays should be a time of personal inner reflection, for giving praise, and being thankful to Yahweh. It is never a time to be selfish, rude or unloving. So go make someone happy, acknowledge their birthday, and send them a Birthday Card, a Birthday Note or give them a Birthday Call. It is always lawful to do good, even on a Sabbath. However, use Spiritual sense and . . . .
Be Sure To Put Yahweh First!
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